Inbound marketing is all about the customer.
Compared to the traditional outbound marketing process (buying ads, email lists and, leads) the core of inbound marketing is providing value for your prospects, giving customers what they’re looking for and creating relationships. The focus of the message has shifted from marketer-centric to customer-centric.
If you’re still a little hazy on inbound and how it works for your business, you’ve come to the right place. We've created this simple introductory guide to inbound marketing methodology for you to learn more about how you can find marketing success in the digital age.
The Stages of Inbound
Overall, the process is the natural development of user who transforms from a stranger to your business into a customer and eventual promoter of your brand.
There are four main stages to the inbound methodology:
The first step of inbound involves driving website traffic. It’s not that you want to attract strangers to your website – you want to attract the right ones. The people who connect with your content and social presence are more likely to become leads.
Once you have successfully attracted visitors to your site, the next phase is conversion. Using strategic landing pages and calls-to-action (CTA), you can gather valuable contact information and convert those visitors into leads.
Not everyone is sales ready. In fact, most leads aren’t ready to buy the minute they convert, which means you need to nurture them. Warm up your leads with the appropriate nurture campaigns.
Once a lead closes, they become a customer. And when you gain customers, it is your job to keep them delighted. A pleased customer will naturally become a promoter for your business or brand.
Financially speaking, it is cheaper to satisfy and retain a current customer than it is to acquire a new customer.
But before you can get promoters, you have to attract people to your business. Inbound is about creating and sharing valuable, relevant content to attract the right strangers – making them potential leads worth trying to convert.
Once you’ve attracted them, lifecycle marketing uses specific actions at each stage to turn visitors into promoters, such as the creation, distribution, and tracking of content.
- Create: Your content should be highly personalized to both your buyer personas and which stage of the buyer’s journey they’re at (clueless, serious or sold).
- Distribute: While content creation is essential, distribution is as equally important. For every hour you spend on creating content, you should spend the same amount of time distributing it.
- Track: Finally, you need to be regularly tracking and analyzing your content. There are several metrics you can use to optimize your content process around. We suggest you track amount of visits and leads generated to start.
Using the inbound marketing methodology, you will be able to refine your content to publish in the exact right place at the right time, to attract your ideal audience to your website.